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Tobias Preis finds out if Google can predict the stock market?

Finance, Psychology, data, investments, wbs

An analysis of changes in Google query volume for search terms related to finance reveals patterns that could be interpreted as early-warning signs of stock market moves.

Tobias Preis, of Warwick Business School, Helen Susannah Moat, of University College London, and H. Eugene Stanley, of Boston University analysed changes in the frequency of 98 terms, such as ‘revenue’, ‘unemployment’, ‘credit’ and ‘nasdaq’, in Google searches from 2004 to 2011. (see graph)

Preis, Moat and Stanley found that using these changes in search volume as the basis of a trading strategy investing in the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index could have led to substantial profit.

In their paper entitled Quantifying Trading Behavior in Financial Markets published in Nature Publishing Group’s Scientific Reports, the team of academics demonstrate that trading on the basis of the number of queries on Google using the keyword ‘debt’ could have brought in returns of up to 326 per cent (see graph).

Dr Preis, Associate Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, said: “We found that changes in the volume of certain Google search terms could be used as early warning signs of subsequent stock market movement.”

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